Locate Yourself By Vision

God has a grand plan for His church; but much more interesting is the fact that He has a plan for each member of His body. In Jeremiah 29:11(AMP Bible), He says:

For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.

You are not created to roam about in life purposelessly. You are designed for a specific placement. Before you were born, He knew you and separated you for a specific goal and assignment. But your placement in the grand master plan of God is located by vision.

Vision is the pathfinding tool in the hand of the believer. In Joel 2:28, we are told that vision is for young men —"...Your young men shall see visions." Abraham had a vision at the age of 75. So, in the sight of God, you are still a young man even at 75! Do not allow your age to intimidate you. Samuel heard God at a very tender age; God gave him an assignment. Reach out for a vision and lay hold on direction.

Where there is no vision, the people perish...
Proverbs 29:18

Where there is no direction, there cannot be progress. You need to locate direction for your life by vision.

Vision is the unfolding of a divine plan as it relates to an individual. It is having a supernatural insight into one’s placement in life. It provides access into a divine programme for an individual. It therefore takes vision to find one’s correct placement in God’s master plan.

Vision is not an invention, but a discovery of a set plan. Many things have been mistaken for vision. I want to draw a sharp line of demarcation between vision and these other elements:

Ambition

This is one’s expectation or what one looks forward to achieving. Thus, it is a self-made plan. Nothing is practically wrong with being ambitious. But, "without vision the people perish." Ambition is liable to failure and can even destroy the ambitious one. Only ambition that falls in line with God’s drawn-out plan becomes fruitful. Absalom was ambitious and his ambition killed him!

Ambition says, "I want it by all means", but vision says, "I have it because God says it, and I am in His plan." Ambition is a brother of anxiety, whereas vision is a relative of peace.

I will hear what God the Lord will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints...
Psalm 85:8

Impression

This is being carried away in one’s thoughts about what one likes in others, for example, their vocation, business or ministry. These thoughts, when compounded, pose as a signal for direction; but they are what can be called an impression.

Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
1 Thessalonians 5:21

Many have mistaken impression today for vision and have been chasing after the wind.

Imagination

The word imagination is derived from the word image, which also means shadow. Imagination is the act of image formation. It is very powerful, but destructive when not properly handled. It is true that what one doesn’t see, one doesn’t possess; but the snag in imagination is that outside the Word of God, it can be misguiding. It can intoxicate until it destroys.

Thus, imagination is not vision. Though it is powerful, but is not a tangible substance as a vision. It is a dream; it is like a floating idea. It can falter and fail. Indeed, imagination that is not in line with the Word of God can only end up frustrating the dreamer; but when in line with God’s Word, it is absolutely powerful. A positive imagination can cause the dreamer to attain the ultimate in his visionary pursuits.

Situation

This is direction arrived at as a result of what one is going through at a particular time. It sounds like direction, but it can be grossly misleading. For instance, someone is not doing well in his business and suddenly, "he perceives" it is because God is calling him to preach! That is not vision, it is situation. Again, someone else has been looking for a job for a long time and has found none, so he believes God is asking him out of the country for one thing or the other.

Many people today love explaining the situation, instead of pursuing a vision. It can be irksome! The preaching ministry, in particular, has been the biggest victim of these explorers! Many in the church think misfortune is a stepping-stone into ministry:

I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran...
Jeremiah 23:21

Do not allow your life to be directed by situations and circumstances, because it will lead you nowhere. It is when God is your shepherd that you attain, not when you are led by situations and circumstances. It is time to move by vision and not as situations demand.

Reaction

Many have found themselves in what they are doing today by reason of things they detested in some people, places or systems. This is the origin of the breakaway syndrome in the Church today. "I don’t like that man", "I hate that constitution", "I will not take that new policy", "I am bigger than the kind of discipline being meted out to me. Therefore I will begin my own church; I will start off my own ministry. As a matter of fact, I can do it better than that man or woman."

Reaction is, in most cases, an act of insubordination and an overestimation of oneself. Moses, in Egypt, is a very good example of reaction. Through reaction, he killed the Egyptian who had manhandled an Israelite, and had to dwell in the wilderness for 40 years. I believe he finally located himself through meekness (the Bible refers to him as the meekest man on the surface of the earth). God eventually gave him a vision in the place of a reaction, but it cost him a lot!

Reaction, if not dealt with, can slow down one’s pace in life, and may even destroy one’s destiny altogether! So watch out, or you may add 40 years of wilderness wandering to your journey in life.

Be not over much wicked, neither be thou foolish: why shouldest thou die before thy time?
Ecclesiastes 7:17

Confirmation

This is seeking the affirmation of others in deciding what steps to take in life. God is never moved by multitudes or by popular opinion. If all the prophets in the world prophesy one into a preaching ministry and God has not called him, He has not called one. Even if all the members of the local church he belongs see him as a worldwide evangelist but God does not see him as one, then he is not.

Stop being led by men; rather, be led by God. If you let God lead you, then you shall not want! No amount of confirmation by people can put words into His mouth. What He has not said, He has not said; what He has not written, He has not written. Locate His writing about you, not the writings of men. Human confirmation is, more often than not, confusion in disguise.

Association

Many have also thought that association is equal to commission, but this is not true. For instance, Saul was said to be among the prophets and he actually did prophesy, and a parable came out of it:

...Is Saul also among the prophets?
1 Samuel 10:11

Mockery! This is what is called environmental anointing. That is, getting things done by virtue of what goes on in the environment to which one belongs. Saul prophesied, but he was not a prophet. I perceive that he misunderstood that experience, because when he ought to have waited for Samuel, the priest, he went ahead to offer the sacrifice, thereby losing his throne.

Association has a way of influencing one in any area of ministry. Jesus had twelve people in His company. They went out in His name and even devils were subject to them. Then Peter thought he had it all. He argued blindly with the Master on his ability to stand by Him; but after the master was taken, he could not even stand before a little maid! He was swearing profusely, as he vehemently denied his beloved Master! Until finally, on the day of Pentecost he was commissioned to stand.

Therefore, people who think they can get things done because others are doing them, should watch properly before they step out. Association can inspire and motivate for action, but has no power to commission.

Natural Instinct/ Inspiration

Some people have mistaken talent for vision. What one has a flair for is not necessarily an indication of a call. Often, God delights in placing men into areas where they have the least natural abilities to perform. Think of His commissioning an exiled Moses to deliver His people from bondage, when there were numerous more qualified citizens that stood better chances. As if that was not enough, although a stammerer, he became an orator.

What about God calling the little man, Gideon, a nonentity and weakling by all natural indications, to deliver His people from the Midianites. Also, Nehemiah was a slave boy, yet he was commissioned to rebuild the broken wall of Jerusalem.

When Samuel went to anoint a king for Israel in Jesse’s house, he was captivated by the beautiful countenance of Eliab, until the Lord brought him back to reality by refusing him. Thus, all the five sons filed past and all he could hear from God was "NO!" Who then? An insignificant youth attending to sheep in the field — David! God’s response to the look of shocked disappointment on Samuel’s face at His rejection of Eliab and his brothers will help to humble anyone who prides himself/herself on natural talent.

Have you ever considered the rationale behind God’s choice of ignorant and unlearned disciples to spearhead the cause of the gospel, men who have now become the canons of Scriptures? This is because talent is not vision. God said to Samuel:

Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.
1 Samuel 16:7

A vision is deeper than what people deem it to mean. While natural instinct and inspiration may enhance it, they must never be mistaken for one in isolation.

Locating Yourself

God is a God of ways. He has heaven for you on earth and wants to show you how to get there. He has created you for a purpose and wants to show you how to attain it. He shows His ways to His men. Acts are for the children, while ways are for His men.

He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel.
Psalm 103:7

Locating the plan of God for your life, that is, where you are destined for, is vision. Vision is a vital link to success. It is power. Everyone has a duty to locate what they are created for. Discovering your kingdom placement is by vision:

Where there is no vision, the people perish...
Proverbs 29:18

Vision is therefore a tool for finding direction. When you cannot tell where you are heading for, you cannot get there. Vision is a direct discovery of God’s plan for you (Jer. 29:11).

You never become a star in the kingdom until you have become a visionary. The future of every believer depends on the discovery of his placement in the body of Christ. You make it seemingly effortlessly in your calling, because God enables you to perform in the area He has assigned you. True vision comes from God and is characterized by peace. When a vision is from God, it will speak peace, not war, divisions or tension.

"Now, how do I locate the plan of God for my life?" You may ask. Or, "How do I get a vision from God?" The answer is found in Habakkuk 2:1:

I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me...

You cannot receive your plan from God without having a strong desire for it. Your strong desire makes you to set your will towards achieving it.

Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom.
Proverbs 18:1

Desire sets your will towards your goal. "To set me..." means to embark on a discovery. When your will is set on achieving a mission, you have to take necessary steps for it to materialize. The word of God says:

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
James 1:5

One of the necessary steps is asking. As you ask, be watchful in your spirit-man. Maintain quietness on your inside. Clear your spirit, get rid of all preconceived notions and let your spirit be empty, to ease reception of signals from the throne of grace. Often, visions are received in moments of quietness. God is always ready to show you the right path; all you have to do is to get to the point where He can reach you.

The Holy Spirit releases the plans of God for you through your spirit, so programme yourself to hear His voice. His voice should not be strange to you because you are born of Him. No child goes to school to learn his mother tongue. Jesus said:

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
John 10:27

You can hear the voice of the Holy Spirit, so set your spirit at the right channel and receive instructions.

Every Christian, by right, should be able to receive vision from God. Unfortunately, this is not the case, however. God will only release vision to the category of believers who are clothed inside and outside with godly qualities. A major requirement is that same quality that was found in Moses after his humbling experience of self-exile — meekness.

A Christian who wants to know the way of the Lord has to be humble and also have the spirit of the fear of the Lord. Moses, whom God says was the meekest of all men upon the earth, spoke face- to-face with God, and as such, he had first hand knowledge of the ways of the Lord.

Take Heed To Thyself

It is one thing to get a vision from God, it is yet another to be able to maintain it. Take heed to yourself, attend to the following points and your vision will not only be maintained, it will be kept.

Contentment

Do not despise your calling when God reveals it to you. Do not be a follower of what others are doing; be a follower of God. Your calling might not be popular now, but stick to it. God does not just call you and leave you to fend for yourself. He would have deposited in you the inherent abilities that will enable you to stand and triumph.

Every calling glorifies God and also lifts the person called. You are destined to be a star in your area of calling; so don’t despise it. Know your rank and maintain it. Do not place yourself beyond where God has placed you. Know those ahead of you and accord them the honour due to them.

Consistency

Be consistent in your calling. There is a path for each person,walk in yours. The army of God is an army of specialists who have received visions with precision. Do not cross to someone else’s lane. Having located where you belong, stick to it till you become a star. You are a part of excellence, because you are a part of the body of Christ. Abide where you have been placed. Consistency is a divine attribute. Every calling culminates in glory, but there is a demand to press toward it. In Philippians 3:14, apostle Paul says:

I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

There is a pressing required for every prize. No press, no prize! Paul pressed, ran and fought, so he was confident that a prize awaited him. The prophet Habakkuk said, "...That he may run that readeth it" (Hab. 2:2).

No vision gets fulfilled automatically, so run; do not go about minding other people’s ministries. Even when they go wrong, leave them to God who has called them. Be least concerned about how others are running. Referees don’t win any prizes, so don’t be one. This is a race that calls for physical, mental and spiritual exercises. It might not be comfortable, but press on and you will see God in action. Endure all things, press on till you receive your prize.

Location

You need to receive adequate information about your calling before you step out. Stay with God to receive the details of your calling. Are you called to preach? Ask, "What do I preach?" The Bible says in Isaiah 40:6, "The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry?..."

Every messenger must have a message. A messenger without a message is a dangerous man. You must know what you are sent to deliver. In addition, you have to know where to preach the message you have been given. Jonah was going to Tarshish to preach, instead of Nineveh, and he ended up in the belly of a fish for three days and three nights. Until you go to where God sends you, you remain a struggler. When you are where God has sent you, there is supernatural provision.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
Psalm 23:1

Know Your Timing

In Ecclesiastes 3, we are told that there is a time for everything. You have to ask for God’s "when" for your assignment. God who sent you knows the perfect time for you to set out. Moses struck 40 years earlier than God’s time. This sent him on a personal exile, he was downgraded. Jesus, the Son of God, was the natural son of Joseph for 30 years, until He came into the fullness of time.

There is what is called "the fullness of time." It is the right time to step out into your God-given assignment. You need to be sensitive to the right time, in order to make healthy progress.

Know The Method

After knowing what to do, where to do it and what time to set out, you also need to find out how you are to go about it. Don’t just go about it your own way or the way of others. Ask God for His way and He will show you how to perform the divine task.

Knowing where you are heading for is the first step towards attainment. You can be very diligent and faithful, but if you are not on the right path, you will keep struggling all your life. Get on the right path God has purposed for you in His infinite variety, and you will see your light break out of the gloom darkness like the bright morning star.

Placement Is By Election Of Grace

Ministry is by election of grace. Placement has nothing to do with abilities or inabilities; it is purely an act of divine election.

For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:

But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:

That no flesh should glory in his presence.
1 Corinthians 1:26-29

Our callings and elections in the faith have nothing to do with our background — cultural, educational, social and what have you. God is the sole authority behind every calling and He gives it severally as He wills.

The Scriptures show that the "have nots" and "be nots" secure higher placements than the "exposed" and "gifted" candidates. The reason for this is clear — "That no flesh should glory in His presence." He wants all the glory! Yes, for He has said:

...My glory will I not give to another...
Isaiah 42:8

This is why the seemingly unqualified and incompetent often wear the ministry crowns more than the "have it all" and the "know it all."

(For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)

It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.

As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.

What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.

For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.

So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy.
Romans 9:11-16

Here is the good news: every born again believer has been accepted in the beloved (Eph. 1:6). Therefore, we can boldly say with the Psalmist:

The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage.
Psalm 16:6

We belong to the favourable order in the covenant. We are His beloved, like Jacob was, not of works, but of election.

Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began
2 Timothy 1:9

Our calling was sealed before the world began! It is amazing that God has set His people apart unto glory. Much more amazing is the fact that your salvation confirms your inclusion in that company of people.

For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
Romans 8:29

You are called to be justified, and you are justified to be glorified. That is what, I believe, apostle Paul was referring to when he spoke about "the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 3:14). It’s a high calling indeed! It’s a call to glory, royalty and dignity!

When a man steps into his divinely appointed place in life, things happen; wonders take place and stardom takes off!

As a little boy in school, I was a victim of speech impediment. Even though I was not stammering, I was conspicuously slow-tongued, for which my mates gave me a nickname. This was very demoralizing. But surprisingly today, people complain that I am too fast for them in my ministrations!

At that same period in my life, I was crowd-shy. I could not lift up my eyes while passing through a group of 40 people, but all that is no more now! Why did God pick on a crowd-shy person for a crowd-demanding task? "That no flesh might glory in His presence!" Why did God select a slow-tongued individual for such an assignment that requires the fast-tongued? "That the excellency of glory might be of God and not of us."

It is worth everything to locate oneself in the master plan of God and stay with it. When God elects one for a task, He releases His grace at the same time unto the individual, to enable him perform. When God called Gideon, among other things, He said:

...Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have not I sent thee?
Judges 6:14

When God commissions, He accompanies the commissioned with supernatural facilities that make for excellence in the task. What He has not appointed a man to do He will not give the ability to perform.This is why the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 7:20:

Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called.

The reason is that the prophetic army spoken about in Joel 2:7 has this major characteristic:

They shall run like mighty men; they shall climb the wall like men of war; and they shall march every one on his ways, and they shall not break their ranks:

No wonder it emerges as a formidable and invincible army: it has the backing of the forces of heaven.


Loading tweets2...